The Ever Lasting Glory.By Dave Turner.Disclaimer:
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the book 'Starship Troopers' by Robert Heilein, I write these stories for fun not profit.Crossover:
The book, 'Starship Troopers', not the movie.Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar:
Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.Timeline:
Post BtVS season 5. First story in the 'Troopers' series.Words:
Thirty-two chapters of 3000+ words.Warnings:
A Starship Troopers xover; Buffy had always hated spiders, yes she was the Slayer, but even tiny spiders in the bath had given her the wig. Now she was faced by giant, nightmare spiders with guns, it was enough to make even the bravest slayer scream!0=0=0=0Authors Note;
I'd like to say a big thanks to 'batzulger' who wrote 'Garbed in Steel' and inspired me to get on and write this fic.0=0=0=0Revelo Drive, Sunnydale, 13th July, 2199.
Waking up with a cry of alarm, Buffy sat bolt upright in bed and looked around her bedroom with wild frightened eyes. Why was she here? What had happened? Why wasn't she dead?
Breathing deeply as she tried to control her wildly beating heart, Buffy began to remember what had happened, not that it was actually all that difficult because it was so fresh in her mind. Thinking back to the previous night, which only felt like a few moments ago. Buffy had clear memories of her fight with Glory; she remembered saying goodbye to Dawn and telling her to look after her friends, she also had a clear memory of jumping off Glory's tower and falling through the glowing blue portal before...before...
Waking up in her own bedroom? Just for a moment Buffy considered the possibility that there was a hell dimension which was an exact copy of her own room. Discarding this idea as being too weird even for Sunnydale, she began to look around her room. Even with the drapes closed, she could see that this room wasn't an exact
copy of her bedroom. Things were subtly different, out of place, changed. Turning her head, Buffy looked to see what time it was. Instead of seeing her familiar, battered old alarm clock, she saw what looked like a piece of deep red, almost see-through plastic which flashed the numbers, zero, seven, three, zero at her.
No sooner had she recognised the 'clock' for what it was; it started to beep at her, it began softly but soon became more insistent as the beeping grew louder. Reaching out, Buffy was about to pick the 'clock' up and try to switch it off when it stopped beeping as soon as her fingers touched it.
“Cool,” Buffy murmured in a low voice, “if its seven-thirty,” she asked herself, “it must be time to get up.”
Pushing back her bed clothes, Buffy swung her legs out of bed and slowly stood up. Looking down at herself, she saw that she was wearing her usual bedtime attire of PJ bottoms and an old tank top. Walking over to her window, she drew back the curtains and looked outside. The early morning sun shone down on a Revelo Drive which looked the same as the Revelo Drive she knew, but somehow wasn't. Again things looked elusively different, watching for several minutes Buffy tried to work out what had changed from the last time she'd looked at this scene.
Suddenly the reason things looked different occurred to her; it was the trees, they looked taller, older. Buffy frowned for a moment more as a car drove silently by down the street. Telling herself she was seeing things, she tried to ignore the fact that the 'car' didn't have any wheels and that it had been floating along the road. This, Buffy told herself was plainly impossible as cars didn't float, they had wheels, she must be seeing things. Deep down of course she knew the truth, the car had been floating and it didn't have wheels.
“Okay,” Buffy moaned quietly, “I fell through Glory's portal and I've landed in a reality where they have floating cars.” she took an extra deep breath, “That's cool, I can totally live with floating cars...” she smiled as another thought struck her, “...Xander will be sooo
pissed he missed this!”
Turning away from the window, Buffy looked around her room again trying to spot any other differences; cool looking alarm clocks and floating cars couldn't be the only things that had changed. Walking slowly over to her dressing table, Buffy noticed a few other things that were different, a chair out of place and hung with clothes she didn't remember buying. There were posters of what looked like futuristic rock bands on her walls, looking at one closely it took Buffy a moment or two to realise that all the pictures were three dimensional, very strange.
Now standing in front of her dressing table, Buffy examined the photographs slipped under the edge of the mirror. In her own room these photos, Buffy again noted that they were all three dimensional, would have been of herself with Xander, Willow and Dawn she even had one of a rather grumpy looking Giles. But these photos didn't show any of her old friends. Yes, there were ones showing Buffy with Dawn or Buffy, Dawn and their Mom. But, the majority of them showed Buffy smiling or laughing with her arms around the necks of her two, very best friends in all the world...Cordelia Chase and Harmony Kendal. Crying out in alarm Buffy stepped back from the 'evil' mirror and caught a glimpse of her own reflection.
“OH! My god!” Buffy gasped as she stepped back towards the mirror and started to study her own reflection, at least she thought it was her own reflection. Staring in shock at the girl staring back at her, Buffy frowned as the girl in the mirror frowned, “What's happened to me?” she asked as she touched her face, was it really her?
Looking closely at the Buffy in the mirror, Buffy saw that she looked younger than she had been only twenty-four hours earlier. Her hair was longer and someone had done something to her nose and made it, if anything, even more 'cuter' than it had been. Buffy also noticed that her complexion was flawless without even a hint of shinny, greasy skin or enlarged pores. Somehow she looked 'made-up' without even the slightest trace of cosmetics. Getting over her initial shock, she smiled at herself, this was exactly how she'd always imagined herself looking when she'd been a young teen. Okay it was shallow and she'd not thought like that in years, but, at the same time it was still sort of 'way cool'.
The smile on Buffy's lips was wiped away as her eyes fell on yet another photo of Cordy, Harmony and herself. This photo showed all three of them wearing cheerleaders outfits. Well, when she said 'wearing' she used the term loosely, she'd seen photos of bikini models wearing more than the three teenage girls in the picture. Standing up, Buffy realised that her bladder was reminding her it hadn't been emptied in quite some time, while her stomach was complaining that it needed refuelling. Next she caught the merest hint of body odour. Turning away from the mirror, Buffy grabbed a towel and headed for the bathroom.0=0=0=0
After finishing her morning bathroom routine, Buffy had gone back to her room to dry her hair, dress and try to come to grips with all the new wonders she had seen. There'd been a sonic toothbrush that she could actually see cleaning and whitening her teeth as she'd used it. There was the little razor thing that wasn't a razor, but it had removed the hairs from her legs and underarms like nothing she'd used before. But the greatest wonder she'd seen on her trip back from the bathroom was Dawn.
While Buffy appeared to have got younger overnight, Dawn looked older. No longer the dorky fourteen year old, Dawn was now a tall, attractive, sixteen year old who had appeared to be really pleased to see her sister. Buffy was shocked, yes she loved her sister, but there had also been that older sister, younger sister thing that she was sure they'd have grown out of given time.
“Okay,” Buffy sighed as she sat on the edge of her bed, “lets see if I can get this straight...I jumped off Glory's tower to save my sister and the world and landed in...in...my bedroom?” That, Buffy decided, was way strange even by Sunnydale's standards, “Right, so I've landed in a version of my bedroom that has some really cool stuff and my sister isn't an annoying little brat any more...I wonder...” Buffy gasped with hope, maybe in this version of her life her mother was still alive, “...Mom?”
Stopping herself from rushing downstairs dressed only in a damp towel, Buffy paused long enough to find some clothes. The clothes she found where a little different than those she normally wore. Her wardrobe appeared to consist of really short skirts and revealing tops. What the hell, Buffy told herself as she picked out a skirt that wasn't too short and a blouse that wasn't overly see-throughy. Dressed, if you used the term loosely, Buffy burst out of her room and almost ran downstairs and into the kitchen.
“MOM!” she cried with joy as she saw her mother sitting at the breakfast bar sipping a cup of coffee and reading from the screen of some sort of really thin, hand held, computer.
Throwing herself at her mother, Buffy buried her face in her mother's hair as she hugged her really tightly like she'd never let her go.
“Mom, Mom, Mom,” Buffy sobbed with relief and joy.
“What's wrong honey?” Joyce returned her daughter hug, “Are you ill, and could you not hug me quite so tightly?”
“Sorry,” Buffy released her mother and wiped the tears of happiness from her eyes, “I was just so glad to see you alive.”
“Alive!?” Joyce looked at her daughter as if she'd turned bright blue overnight.
“Of course you're alive!” Buffy replied hurriedly as she tried to think up something to explain her strange behaviour, “I...I had a really vivid nightmare where I dreamt you'd died...” Buffy smiled self-consciously, “...it was so real and when I saw you I was totally so relieved...”
“But you're okay now?” Joyce asked with a concerned smile.
“Yes,” Buffy replied as she tried not to burst into tears again, “in fact I'm so much more than okay now...”
“Hey what's going on?” Dawn asked from the door to the kitchen.
“Buffy had a nightmare and thought I'd died,” Joyce explained to her younger daughter.
“Oh my god!” Dawn exclaimed as she rushed over to hug her sister, “I had a terrible dream too!”
“You did!?” Joyce and Buffy chorused.
“I dreamt that some psycho woman in a red dress was going to kill me with a big knife and Buffy rescued me!”
“Oh my god!” Buffy gasped; this was just too weird, she needed answers and she could think of only one person who could supply her with those answers...Giles.0=0=0=0
Buffy walked into Sunnydale High's library thinking that she must be getting punch drunk with all the weirdness she was seeing and experiencing. First, she discovered that not only did she look younger but she really was in fact younger. She was still eighteen and today was graduation day. The being younger, Buffy could, quite honestly, live with; the idea that it was graduation day all over again, not so much. It seemed unfair that having defeated the mayor once she was going to have to do it all over again.
But there was something else, something much worse that had driven Buffy to lock herself in one of the stalls in the girl's washroom and weep uncontrollably for about five minutes. Buffy had been walking along the corridor towards the library when she'd bumped into Willow and Xander. It had been quite obvious to Buffy after only a few seconds that her two oldest and dearest friends weren't her friends here. Yes, they knew her but they weren't her friends, they didn't move in the same circles, it was also pretty obvious that Willow and Xander were girl and boy friends. This Buffy could deal with, but it didn't help her come to terms that here they'd never been her closest buddies. After washing her face, Buffy checked herself out in the washroom's mirror and decided she was good to go. Leaving the washroom behind her she retraced her steps towards the library. If anyone could tell her what was going on, Giles could.
“GILES!” Buffy cried out as she burst into the library, she saw Giles standing in his accustomed place behind the counter, unusually he appeared to be working on a computer with an incredibly slim screen. “Giles!” Buffy repeated as she came to a halt in front of her old mentor, it was only then that she saw the look in his eyes which stopped her cold, “S-sorry, I meant Mr Giles...” the slightly annoyed look on Giles' face slowly vanished as he raised an eyebrow and studied Buffy for several long seconds.
“Miss Summers,” Giles spoke, “what can I do for you this bright, sunny, graduation day morning?”
“I-I'm sorry about j-just now,” Buffy stammered as it dawned on her that Giles was different in this world too, “I was just so glad to find you here...”
“Were else would I be?” Giles asked, he now had a slightly bemused smile on his lips, “Although I am surprised that you of all people would be rushing into the library so early in the day, you have books to return, perhaps?”
“No! Yes! Probably!” Buffy was confused and wasn't sure what to do or say, “Erm...I just wanted to see you before Graduation
because its like the last
day of school and I wanted to say goodbye and...and thanks for...everything?”
Buffy saw no hint in Giles' eyes that today would be any different from any other school graduation day. Perhaps today would go off without all the death and destruction of the graduation that she'd already experienced.
“Yes, well,” Giles seemed a little confused by Buffy's utterances, “it's always nice...and in your case, surprising, to hear that a pupil appreciates a teacher's efforts...” Giles paused, obviously trying to think of what he should say next, a light came on behind his eyes when a subject for discussion popped into his mind. “Have you given any more thought as to what you want to do with your life now you've graduated?” he asked, “I'd heard a rumour that you and Miss Chase were going to enlist for a term of Federal service...”
“You did?” Buffy didn't like the sound of this 'enlisting' thing.
“Or maybe I heard wrong,” Giles sounded a little disappointed, “Of course its entirely up to you, making these sorts of decisions are the only truly real freedoms a man or woman has.” Giles paused to study Buffy for a moment, “Miss Summers...Buffy, while I don't want to unduly influence you I've always thought of you as a kind and helpful girl, if a little scatter brained. I always thought that perhaps you'd go into nursing or one of the other 'welfare' services, of course if you were to do so having completed a term of Federal Service would be of great benefit to you career. Have you thought of which branch of Federal government you'd like to try for?”
“Not really,” Buffy shrugged, once again things were happening too quickly for her to process properly, “hey...” Buffy laughed thinking of the time Xander had turned into a soldier that Halloween, “...maybe I'll join the army!”0=0=0=0
The Graduation Ceremony went off without a solar eclipse, vampires, or the students having to fight for their lives. Another big plus was that the mayor didn't turn into a giant snake. In fact the mayor was a nice sounding man who gave a mercifully short speech about how today was the three hundredth anniversary of the founding of Sunnydale. This came as a big shock to Buffy because she'd been under the impression that graduation day had been held on the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of Sunnydale. Eventually graduation came to an end after Principle Snyder had given Buffy a genuinely pleasant smile as he handed over her certificate.
“Well done Summers,” he said softly as he shook her hand, “I never knew you had it in you, good luck with the future.”
More than a little punch drunk, Buffy had wandered the corridors of her school asking herself what she should do now, it seemed that in this reality, graduation was a private affair between students, their teachers and a few honoured guests, parents were not allowed. Standing at her locker, Buffy cleaned it out for what she suspected would be the last time. Nothing really made any sense to her, she was surrounded by people she knew but at the same time didn't know. Snyder had been nice to her, Giles had been just a little distant. Her mother was alive and well, her sister was older while she was younger, and, oh yeah, she seemed to be two hundred years into the future. Right at the moment all Buffy wanted to do was to sit in a dark room until everything went back to normal.
Buffy recognised the voice belonging to the arm that was now wrapped around her shoulder.
“Cordelia!” Buffy tried to sound sincere as she plastered a big, 'happy' smile on her face.
“Buffy!” squealed Harmony as she hit Buffy full on enveloping her in a warm, some would say very warm embrace; Buffy noticed there was a curtain amount of 'wandering hands', she started to wonder if Harmony and herself were more than just 'friends'; at the moment nothing would have surprised her.
“Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!” Harmony squeezed Buffy hard as she kissed Buffy's cheek. “If it hadn't been for you I'd never have graduated!”
“You wouldn't?” Buffy fought free of the overly grateful girl.
“No!” Harmony let Buffy go but still stood very close as she looked down at her with more than a little hero worship in her eyes.
“I think what Harm is totally like trying to say,” Cordelia explained as her face split into a wide grin, “is that she'd willingly have your babies if you so desired.”
“CORDY!” Buffy and Harmony gasped together.
“Whatever,” Cordelia shrugged, “come on, lets totally get out of this dump. Lets have some like major fun!”
“Yeah!” Harmony agreed.
Very soon Buffy found herself walking towards the exit between her two taller friends, her life, she decided was majorly weird, but these versions of Cordelia and Harmony seemed nicer than the girls she remembered and hell, she needed some fun right now.
“Hey Buffy,” Cordelia tightened her grip on Buffy's waist, you still coming to the Federal Building with me tomorrow, right? Harm still won't come.”
“What would I do for Federal service?” Harmony demanded, “I'm not clever like you guys, I'd probably end up testing survival gear on Pluto or something!”
“Whatever,” Cordy laughed lightly, “so, Buffy, you coming?”
“Yeah,” Buffy shrugged, “Why not?”0=0=0=0Author's Note:
The stories in the 'Troopers' series are very much based on the book, 'Starship Troopers' and not the god awful film of the same name. I've tried to keep to the spirit of the original book (more so than 'that' film), but I've put in more action sequences and a lot less introspection. I've also updated the technology but I've tried not to go over the top with it. Like Heilein I've not attempted to explain how things work, they just 'do'!